Geschichte 02 Geschichte 03 Geschichte 04 Geschichte 05 Geschichte 06 Geschichte 07 Geschichte 08 Geschichte 01
Namibia's History in short

The oldest piece of evidence for early human life in Namibia is a jaw bone of the  Otavipithecus namibiensis found in the Otavi Mountains. This hominide lived between 12 and 15 million years ago. So Namibia might qualify as one of the cradles of humankind. Clear signs for the existence of humans are mainly depictions of animals and humans on rock surfaces, which were discovered in a cave in the Hunsberge. Their age is estimated at 28.000 years. In the 15th century one can speak of considerable settling movements of Bantu-speaking pastoral tribes - mainly Herero and Ovambo, coming from central and east Africa – into the north of Namibia in search for pastureland. Nama tribes from the Cape area followed and settled in southern Namibia. Missionaries arrived at the end of the 18th century. They made a great contribution to the education of the population and also in establishing peace between tribes that had been at enmity. And we owe the historiography of the precolonial times to the missionaries.

Namibia was colonised by Europeans, Germans in this case, as one of the last countries in Africa. In the year 1883 the merchant and adventurer Adolf Luederitz from Bremen in northern Germany purchased the bay Angra Pequeña - nowadays Luederitz Bay - and the terrain of 20 miles around the bay from the Nama Chief Joseph Fredericks from Bethanien.

In the following year the German Empire took over the protection of the Luederitz properties. A small corps of the Imperial Marine landed in the bay and hoisted the German flag in the bay. From 1884 to 1914 was Namibia was a so-called "German Protectorate" and was named "German South West Africa". The German Empire sent protection troops, the "Deutsche Schutztruppe". It had the task to transform the area between the Orange and Kunene rivers into a German colony. Settlers from Germany should buy land and work it without hindrance. The people who had lived on the land, had to be brought under subjection.

The colonisation was done by more or less peaceful means. Contracts were negotiated between representatives of the Namas and the Hereros. In these "protection contracts" the Germans granted military protection to the Herero and Nama. In turn both groups agreed to tolerate German settlers to use and occupy their land.

Eventually the Herero and the Nama realised that the German colonisation threatened their subsistence and their traditional way of life as free cattle and goat herders; so both population groups rose in armed rebellion. These military conflicts lasted until 1908 and resulted in the total defeat of the black population.

At the beginning of the First World War, South Africa occupied South-West Africa and in 1920, received a mandate from the League of Nations to govern the country. When this was abolished in 1966 by the UN, South Africa refused to accept that and the result was many years of military struggle between South Africa and the Namibian liberation movement SWAPO, which was supported by the United Nations. On March 21, 1990 the political independence of Namibia was finally granted and a democratic constitution drawn up. SWAPO won the first free elections and became the strongest party. Its leader Dr. Sam Nujoma was elected the first Namibian President. Namibia became member of the Commonwealth of Nations.